Deontai Williams made an immediate impact as a junior college transfer, appearing in all 12 games with a start against Purdue in his debut season in Lincoln. Williams totaled 23 tackles and one TFL in 2018, and he had at least one tackle in 10 of Nebraska's 12 games. Williams proved to be a ballhawk by forcing two fumbles, recovering oen fumble, intercepting two passes and breaking up two more passes. Williams tied for the team lead in interceptions, forced fumbles and fumble recoveries.
Williams recorded his first career pass breakup in the season opener with Colorado and then posted his first career tackle the next week vs. Troy. At No. 19 Michigan, Williams picked off the first pass of his career with a diving interception in the end zone. He started the first game of his career against Purdue and recorded three tackles, which matched his season total entering the game. He then set a career high with five tackles the next week at No. 16 Wisconsin. Williams had one tackle each against Northwestern and Minnesota. He was a disruptive force against Bethune-Cookman, totaling two tackles while recovering a fumble, intercepting a pass and breaking up another. He forced the first fumble of his career and had four tackles at No. 8 Ohio State. Williams forced another fumble the next week against Illinois, when he had a pair of tackles. He ended his season with a two-tackle performance at Iowa that included his first career tackle for loss.
Before Nebraska (Trinity Christian Academy/Jones County CC)
Williams totaled 26 tackles and recorded two interceptions and two forced fumbles for Jones County in 2017, helping the Bobcats to an 8-2 record and an appearance in the Mississippi Association of Community & Junior Colleges playoffs. In 2016, Williams played in the season opener and totaled four tackles and one fumble recovery before an injury sidelined him for the rest of the season. He was granted a redshirt for the 2016 season.
Regarded as a three-star recruit, Williams was ranked among the nation’s top 30 junior college prospects by the 247Sports Composite rankings, which also tabbed Williams as the nation’s No. 2 junior college safety. He chose Nebraska after also considering Florida, Ole Miss and Central Florida.
Originally from Jacksonville, Fla., Williams played his high school ball for Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville. Coming out of high school, Williams was ranked among the nation’s top 250 players by ESPN, and he received scholarship offers from Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Notre Dame and UCLA, among others.
Deontai was born on Oct. 4, 1996, and he is the son of Shantell Davis and Roosevelt Williams, who was a third-round pick in the 2002 NFL Draft and played two seasons with the Chicago Bears (2002) and the Cleveland Browns (2003). Deontai is majoring in child, youth and family studies.